Essential oil diffusers can work as atomizers, humidifiers and air purifiers. Before using an essential oil diffuser, you should know how to operate, clean and maintain a diffuser without issues. Since diffusers are one of the best ways to use an essential oil, they ought to be maintained and cared for properly. They are also pretty expensive to be replaced frequently and this makes periodical cleaning of these instruments mandatory.
How does a diffuser work? Before learning to clean a diffuser, you should know what a diffuser is and how it works to emanate essential oils into air. A diffuser uses ultrasonic waves to break down essential oils in water, releasing a waft of scented air into your living area or work space. It generally consists of a plastic base, holding a motor and a glass tube to disperse oils into air. The glass tube combines water with oils and diffuses clean, scented air molecules into the room. If your diffuser is clogged due to excessive use of oils or on account of sticky, heavy carrier oils or essential oil blends, its functionality will be reduced and you may only get less than half its original efficiency. In order to avoid this, you need to clean your diffusers every week or at least once in 10 days depending on your usage frequency.
How to clean essential oil diffusers: Cleaning essential oil diffusers is pretty easy and will not require more than half an hour. You will need rubbing alcohol to do the job as it will remove all essential oil residue which may be sticking to the curves and ends of diffusers. Below is a step-by-step process on how to do it:
1. Add alcohol to diffuser: Add ½ oz of rubbing alcohol to your diffuser and clean with gloved hands. Rubbing alcohol is effective in removing any kind of residual wastes from essential oils, including sticky substances, aromas etc. You can tilt or sway the diffuser to let the alcohol pass through every curve or intricate point in the glass decanter.
2. Run the diffuser with alcohol: This is the next step. You can use the same alcohol or drain the first alcohol solution and add a fresh amount of it into the diffuser. Run the diffuser with alcohol for about 3 to 5 minutes. This will ensure that the alcohol goes through every point or crevice of the glass tube. However, this would diffuse alcohol into your room. So ask people who are allergic to alcohol scent to leave the room.
3. Clean the glass tube: Remove the tube from the base of your diffuser and plug it with your finger. Add another fresh bout of alcohol and shake the diffuser well to clean all parts of the tube. This will distribute alcohol into the nooks and crannies of the aromatherapy diffuser and ensure a proper cleaning of the whole instrument.
4. Allow alcohol to stay overnight: If you feel that many essential oil substances still remain in the glass tube, allow alcohol to stay in the diffuser overnight. Alcohol will do a complete cleansing act overnight.
5. Clean with cotton swab: When you are done with all the above methods, do not stop. It would just take you a few minutes to run an alcohol-dipped cotton swab through the diffuser. This is a second round of cleaning which would make sure there no sticky oils in any part of the diffuser.
6. Wash with dishwasher: Now comes the primary question – will not alcohol’s smell remain in the diffuser for long? Yes, it will if you do not clean it with something else. Use a dish washing soap to rinse the diffuser’s glass tube thoroughly. This would remove the remaining essential oil residue and also wipe out the smell of alcohol. You can use hot water to rinse the dishwasher.
7. Test run after cleaning: You are done with the cleaning job and all you need to do is dry the diffuser properly. Turn the diffuser on and run it for few minutes without any essential oils. This will dry it completely and will never cause harm to the motor of the diffuser. At no point soak the diffuser in water to clean its outer surface. You can do the job by using the same cotton swab you used to clean the insides.